I have been carrying a weight. It has been a sensation that has settled into my chest, adjacent to my heart. I thought it was anxiety. That I have been worrying about too many things. I have worried about my role as mother and what the future holds for me as a school counselor. I have worried about my role as a wife and my role as a daughter of God. There are choices upon me and decisions to make. I worry about making the wrong decision. That I could mess something up, mess myself up, or mess up another person.
So, this weight. It makes my heart beat faster. It leaves a jittery feeling in my soul. My breathing is shallower. I lack calmness in my body. I snap easily at those around me.
I keep thinking that if I make a decision, or if I prayer harder, or perhaps if I find some magical spiritual formula, that I can absolve myself of this condition. Other days I think maybe I should talk to my doctor, find a pill to take away this weight.
Last week I realized there might be more going on than feeling anxious or stressed. It was a Monday and I was sitting in a training. I was in a small group and we were practicing a counseling technique. I had my turn as the counselor. When I finished, the facilitator complimented me on how I handled the situation. My first thought was that she was being glib. That this was praise that she gave everyone. However, a few more times during the training she gave me praise that I realized was not being given to everyone else. The facilitator actually thought I was competent as a counselor - asking the right questions. And that is when it dawned me. She thought I was good and I did not believe the same about myself.
Stepping back from this singular situation, it hit me that I am insecure in my many roles. I do not feel confident as a counselor, as a mother, or as a wife. I have been struggling to make a decision because I do not have a role that I feel confident in. I am not confident in myself.
Suddenly I am flooded by several recent incidents where someone spoke truth to me and I heard it as a lie. An evening at my friend Emily’s house where she encouraged me and spoke kind words. My husband Paul has praised me as a wife and a mother - telling me how proud he is of me. My mother recently wrote me a letter expressing how important I am to her and the strength she has seen in me.
There is more going on in my body and in my soul than a general feeling of anxiety.
Insecure: not confident about yourself or your ability to do things well;
nervous and uncomfortable.
Yes. This is me. This is where I am at.
How did I get here?
I fell away. I fell away from a relationship with God. I fell away from grounding myself in His truth.
I spent so much time being angry and hurt about the miscarriages that I endured. And even when I had a beautiful baby boy, that did not bring me back into a right relationship with God. It left me fearful and trying to do things on my own.
I realize I have spent the last several years subtly allowing lies to fill my head and heart. I am not sure where they started, but they crept in and continued to grow. There are lies that fill my heart about why God allowed the miscarriages, why I am not a good counselor, why I will not be a good mother, why I am not a good wife or even a good friend. These lies have taken over my life and have left me feeling paralyzed. I am unable to feel successful or confident because I have no grounding in my life.
Now I have a choice. I can continue to believe these lies and let them control my life. Or I can start reflecting on and soaking in the truth of God’s word and the truth of the people that God has put into my life.
I do not think this will be easy. I have to make this choice daily, hourly and sometimes minute to minute. Here are the truths I am currently resting in:
God loves me greatly. Ephesians 2:4, Colossians 3:12, John 3:16
God has good plans for my life. Jeremiah 29:11
God can use me. Philippians 4:13, Ephesians 3:10, 2 Corinthians 5:20, 2 Timothy 1:9
God speaks to me. 2 Timothy 3:16
God is changing me. 2 Corinthians 5:17
God cares for me. Philippians 4:19, Romans 8:26-27
What truths are you seeking?